Milwaukee school embraces differences

It's a school known as a hidden gem in Milwaukee, a place where students can have a safe haven and get the education to succeed. As we near Pride month and Milwaukee Public Schools graduation on June 1, FOX6 learned more about what's helped students reach milestones. 

Gathered in a circle surrounded by acceptance in restorative practice circles, student-led meetings are just part of the support shown at Alliance School of Milwaukee

"Talk about our feelings," said Principal Phyllis Smith. "We talk about what’s going on, what we can work on, what we can fix. The circle is confidentiality is a safe place to open up for yourself and just embrace and love yourself. I believe everybody has a voice, and it’s important to be heard."

Smith said the school fosters an atmosphere where everybody is welcome. 

"We have a large population of LGBTQ students here. We have a lot of students who have physical disabilities," Smith said.

A place of understanding focused on anti-bullying has proven to be life-changing.

"I’m very grateful and proud that I found Alliance. Honestly, I don't know where I would be if I didn’t come here," Jasmine Coleman said.

The environment allows Coleman to focus on education while providing opportunities to grow personally, a success story that Dorian Tellis can also tell.

"Having staff members that were truly interested and invested in my education and well-being, something I hadn't experienced at other schools," Tellis said.

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Tellis has returned to encourage other students. 

"It gave me the opportunity to actually, truly become a leader, and understand more about myself as an individual and have an opportunity to meet different students from all different walks of life," he said.

For these students, the school has served their emotional and academic needs.

"I’ve grown tremendously, and I could say that with full pride," Tellis said.

Alliance is a city-wide school, which means students don't have to live in that ZIP code to attend. There is room for more enrollment in the fall if your child is interested in attending or transferring.